President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony “made a mistake” in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond “in a place and manner and time that we choose” to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.
“This is less about the individual police officers… than the system they represent.”
Responses to events in the Middle East have drifted all the way to Indonesia, and with such force that they have become a threat to national security. Indonesia, with a population of 250 million people, is the largest Muslim country and at the same time the youngest, judging by the number of young people in the population (second only to Pakistan). And not only the future but also the present development of the country depends on whether the Islam majority of the country’s population maintains its religious tolerance or swears allegiance to jihad.
In September this year, the ASEAN countries had issued a statement condemning the ISIS terrorist group and expressed their solidarity with the international action to combat its spread. Moreover, this was done not so much under the influence of the international community and its concern over the situation in the Middle East, but rather in the interests of its own security in the light of the spread of radical jihadists’ influence in the region. In this respect, Indonesia’s situation is the most vulnerable.
And there is an explanation. There are Islamist terrorist jihad groups, ready to support the ISIS, as has been demonstrated by video messages from their leaders, posted on the Internet. It was these groups who have openly called upon armed Indonesians to fight on the side of the ISIS in whose ranks now there are at least 200 people from Indonesia. As a rule, these are young 20 – 30 year old people, educated and fairly affluent, who have been ensnared by the idea of creating an Islamic caliphate. And the fact that today the fight for it is taking place in Syria, strengthens their faith in the justice of their cause which is based, according to analysts from the Indonesian Institute of Political Conflict Analysis, on the eschatological notion that the last battle before the end of the world will be held in Bilad al-Sham (another name for Syria in Islam).
Recruitment of future insurgents is conducted in various ways: preaching in mosques and distributing religious jihadist literature, through social networks and local radical Islamic groups. Fertile ground for recruiters are students, including those studying abroad, particularly in Turkey which is a major transit country (they get there on tourist or student visas, and also as participants in humanitarian missions) through which Indonesian jihadists make their way to Syria.
The threat of proliferation of the ISIS influence throughout Indonesia with the concomitant strengthening of radical Islam’s position in the country is attributed to the country’s organizational terrorist base, strong leaders who are ready to swear allegiance to the caliphate, as well as the existence of a social base currently consisting of about 3 thousand people, receptive to this ideology (at least this many Indonesians have expressed their commitment to the ISIS online), but with the potential to grow in numbers, in the event the supporters of the ISIS become active upon their return to their homeland. They have undergone military training, strengthened their fighting spirit and acquired extensive international connections.
For the first time since the 1990s, when the Indonesian extremists fought in Afghanistan, there is a real threat of involving the local Islamists in the world terrorist movement with dangerous consequences for the stability of Indonesia. Indonesian jihadists are fighting not only for the creation of an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East, but are ready to implement this idea in Indonesia as well (it is included in the ISIS plans) with an embryonic formation in the area of Poso. However, the borders of the Indonesian caliphate, as part of the South-Eastern Caliphate called Daulah Islamiyah Nusantara (with the inclusion of Malaysia) can expand, given the existing enclaves of activity of its adherents. These are Western, Central, Eastern Java, Jakarta, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and other areas.
The mere fact of their dispersion throughout the archipelago makes it difficult to fight against radical Islamists; this fight is conducted today by the state in numerous directions in close cooperation with leading Muslim mass organizations. The unanimous open condemnation of the idea of a caliphate in Indonesia gives cause for optimism in the possibility of a mass counter action movement against the threat of radical Islam spreading throughout the country. The state is counting primarily on its help and assistance, in trying to deprive ISIS supporters of social support in the community.
With some delay, the state itself responded to the threat of proliferation of the ISIS influence in the country, despite its supporters holding mass demonstrations in central Jakarta in March. Only after an Indonesian ISIS militant in July had placed a video message on YouTube, summoning his countrymen to join the battle for the caliphate, the outgoing President Yudhoyono banned the activities of this organization in the country, which was followed by arrests of suspects in connection with its support.
However, the Indonesian security authorities complain about the lack of laws similar to those in force in Malaysia and Singapore, which would allow detention of the ISIS supporters without trial. Today, preventive action is limited to merely monitoring their activities. Other directions of countering the threat of proliferation of the ISIS influence are being considered – legal (in particular, the question of revoking citizenship of Indonesians fighting on the side of another state), institutional (tightening of visa requirements and control of prisons where convicted terrorists today are free to transfer video messages, and also of mosques where future militants undergo religious indoctrination), promotional (using the media to counter propaganda teachings of radical jihadists, given the fact that about 80% of the country’s Internet users are active in social networks which are the main channels for recruiting ISIS militants), ideological (implementing a public education campaign about the hostility of the ISIS teachings towards the values of Indonesian society).
The threat of proliferation of the ISIS influence throughout Indonesia is measured not only in terms of human victims of terrorist acts and attempts to create a caliphate in the country. The main danger lies in a possible split in the Muslim community, in sowing religious discord, undermining the foundations of the Pancasila ideology ensuring the unity of Indonesia and therefore its stability.
Natalia Rogozhina, PhD in Political Science, Head Research, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says that it has documented 9,617 civilian casualties from 1 January 2014 to the end of November. That figure includes 3,188 civilian deaths and 6,429 civilian injuries. The mission warns that by year’s end, the number may rise well above 10,000 victims, the highest since the UN body began keeping record in 2009.
The majority of casualties, some 75 percent, are blamed on “the Taliban, the Haqqani network and other insurgent groups,” Georgette Gagnon, the Director of Human Rights at UNAMA told the journalists at UN Headquarters. Around 12 percent of civilian casualties are blamed on the pro-Government forces.
— UN Political Affairs (@UN_DPA) December 19, 2014
Another 11 percent is blamed on “ground engagements where the party that caused the civilian casualties cannot be determined” while the remainder of casualties was due to “unexploded ordinates that are left after ground engagements,” Gagnon said.
The UN announced that the new data shows an increase in children casualties by 33 percent and women casualties by 14 percent.
“What’s different in 2014 is that the majority of civilian casualties have been caused in ground engagements and fighting between Afghan forces and insurgents, followed by deaths and injuries caused from improvised explosive devices,” the UN says.
UNAMA called on Kabul to do its out-most best to reduce civilian casualties and not to target civilians “either deliberately or indiscriminately.”
“Civilian casualties are particularly tragic and a prominent part, even benchmark, of the horror and the violence that ordinary Afghans face,” said the Head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom.
Around 12,500 foreign soldiers — mostly from the US — will remain in Afghanistan as part of a “Resolute Support Mission” designed to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces post-2014. It stems from the Status of Forces Agreement that NATO signed with the government of Afghanistan on September 30.
Since UNAMA began tracking civilian casualties in 2009, a total of 17,252 civilian deaths and 29,536 injuries have been recorded.
|(NaturalNews) It has been in constant and increasing use for more than 50 years. But glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, isn’t at all safe for humans. And a new film project known as A New Resistance seeks to make this fact known on a wide scale, warning…|
By Rachel Blevins
On Wednesday, the Colorado Board of Health awarded more than $ 8 million in research grants to its health officials for studies on the effects of medical marijuana in treating ailments such as brain tumors, epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to the Associated Press, this line of research is a “new frontier,” due to the fact that “government-funded marijuana research traditionally focuses on the drug’s negative health effects.”
Colorado was one of the first two states to legalize cannabis for recreational use, and one of the 23 states and Washington D.C. to legalize it for medicinal use.
Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a Psychiatrist in Arizona, who will help conduct a study on how treatment with marijuana affects veterans with PTSD, pointed out that this step is a first for the U.S. Government.
“This is the first time we’ve had government money to look at the efficacy of marijuana, not the harms of marijuana,” Sisley said.
The post Colorado Becomes the First State to Fund Medical Marijuana Research appeared first on We Are Change.
Joaquin Flores is an American expat living in Belgrade. He is a full-time analyst at the Center for Syncretic Studies, a public geostrategic think-tank, where his work centers on Eastern European, Eurasian, and Middle East affairs. Flores is particularly adept at analyzing the psychology of the propaganda wars and cutting through the noise of ‘information overload.’ He also serves as the Europe-wide coordinator for New Resistance, a US based revolutionary movement. In the first hour, Joaquin explains the impetus for the founding of the Center for Syncretic Studies, formed in 2013 as platform from which to view the various social and ideological movements that exist today with a broad lens. We discuss the commonality between the radical and progressive left and the radical and paleo-conservative right, which hold the same values and also see the same things wrong with society. Then, Joaquin breaks down the divide and conquer tactics of our leaders, the dictatorship that exists within the US, and the importance of waking up to the delusion that there will be a government reform. In the second hour we consider what it is that can be done by the people in the USA to overcome the dilemmas of Government. Joaquin gives some insight into commonly held criticisms of the Powers That Be, the US’s misinterpretation of revolutions around the globe, and the importance of getting past the idea that the mainstream view is the majority. Then, we examine the propaganda surrounding multiculturalism and the deracination that is occurring within European cultures. Later, Joaquin talks about the media war that is occurring within the Ukraine and Russia, Operation: Gladio, and the New Inter Nationalists. Further, we deliberate the Ukrainian Civil War, US involvement with Pravy Sektor Coup, the push for a Ukrainian failed state, and the role of Islam in this artificially created social movement. In conclusion, Joaquin describes how The New Media is the primary weapon in 4th generation warfare.